September 11th, 2008
06:38 PM ET
14 years ago

Former GOP senator calls Palin a 'cocky wacko'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee has words for Sarah Palin."]

(CNN) - Former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee was known for keeping a low-key profile on Capitol Hill, but the Republican -turned -Independent is making waves with his exceedingly blunt comments on newly-minted Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin:

She's a "cocky wacko," he told a Washington think tank earlier this week.

WATCH: Chafee make the remarks

Chafee, the lone Senate Republican to vote against the Iraq war who endorsed Obama's White House bid earlier this year, told an audience at the New America Foundation in Washington Tuesday that Palin's selection has energized Obama backers.

"People were coming into my office, phone calls were flooding in, e-mails were coming in, 'I just sent money to Obama, I couldn't sleep last night' - from the left. To see this cocky wacko up there," he said.

He also described McCain's candidacy as "lackluster” and described the selection of Palin as a throwing "this firestorm, this tornado, into the whole presidential election."

Chafee, whose father served as senator from Rhode Island from 1976 until his death in 1999, narrowly lost his re-election bid two years ago to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse amid that election cycle’s wave of anti-Republican sentiment.

Chafee made a stir earlier this year when he directly called out Democrats who supported the Iraq war and were now expressing regret for their vote.

“I find it surprising now, in 2008, how many Democrats are running for president after shirking their constitutional duty to check and balance this president,” he wrote in his January 2008 book, “Against the Tide.” “Being wrong about sending Americans to kill and be killed, maim and be maimed, is not like making a punctuation mistake in a highway bill."

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Troy

    I bet you won't see that report on Fox News anytime soon..... What will Fox news do when the Whitehouse changes from Republican to Dem. They will lose all their usefulness.

    Without someone hand feeding their people preapproved news to read, they will have to dust off their shoes and note pads and have to go out and actually report on news that is happening. Opposed to only reporting short sound bites and spins to justify the actions and programs of the administration.......

    September 12, 2008 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  2. stan01020

    this guy is the wacko from RI, another kennedy clan suck up, get a life and take your meds chaffee

    September 12, 2008 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  3. pete

    Sen. Chaffee should not throw stones. He was a Republican that did back his party, now he claims to be Independent but he backed a Democrat (Obama) question is, does the good Senator know what side of the fence he is on or does he just blow with the wind? Any comment from this man should be discredited as lunatic comment from a lost soul.

    September 12, 2008 06:58 am at 6:58 am |
  4. john

    The thought of Sarah Palin being one heartbeat from the Presidency should make any intelligent American voter fear for the future of our Country and our way of life should John McCain be elected. Let's get it right for a change and not treat this election as a High School popularity contest. I can't beleive John McCain has such bad judgment, but I beleive his handlers saw his campaign as looking as tired and sluggish as the Senator.

    September 12, 2008 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  5. David B Campbell

    As a Rhode Islander I have always supported Senator Chafee...but this is a huge disapointment

    September 12, 2008 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  6. geoff

    She is a wacko. Plain and simple. Everyone knows it...and she's scary. She probably gets a lot of things done...but I'm sure there's tension in the room whenever she's there. As a president.... with McCains certain in office demise.... having her in the same building as a nuclear trigger is nothing less than horrific....horrific.

    September 12, 2008 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  7. Zogby Gallup

    Wow...Chafee calling someone a wacko. Pot calling the kettle black.

    September 12, 2008 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  8. Raymond Duke

    Lincoln Chafee is the cocky wacko. He run as a republican and then tried to legislate his job as a left wing liberal which he is. The people of Rhode Island said enough of this and sent him packing. I watched the interview that ABC done with Palin and saw the side angle they used for the camera and how they tried portraying the interview as a homemade event to help the Obama camp and make her look bad. Now you wonder why she should not give interviews to the press. When the press got to do interviews with me it would be in a debate with Biden or Obama. She should Debate Obama also and show what a phony unexperienced person he is.

    September 12, 2008 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  9. Susan

    I agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She is so scary. AMERICANS WAKE-UP!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 12, 2008 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  10. rrodriquez

    I agree. And I don't believe the polls. I can't see how anyone could fall for John McInSane and Sara "Can't Even Manage Her Own Home" Paling in comparison to Obama/Biden."

    If people can't see that McInsane's policies will continue George Bush's administration they're InSane as well and WHEN AMERICA CONTINUES TO FAIL the regular people, they'll deserve everything they get.


    September 12, 2008 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  11. Lone Wolf MD

    I always did like Lincoln Chafee...

    September 12, 2008 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  12. dd

    Anybody that doesn't believe in evolution must be a wacko!

    September 12, 2008 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  13. Funnie

    I couldn't have said it better. I think it is just a matter of time before Americans realize how incompetent Palin is. Obama spoke about long-term solutions and not short-term stop gaps. So Americans, God for bid, should anything happen to McCain, would Sarah be that long-term solution we are looking for. Americans time are too serious too let our excitement moves faster than our intellectual capacity. Palin's public diplomacy is not where it should be in this trying time. Remember what C. Rice said about Mr. Biden? " He is a very fine and diplomatic statemen", U dont' have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what this says about the importance of VP in-relation to Foreign Affirs dipolomacy in dealing with issues. You can be robust and make noise like Palin but please!!!America deserves better.

    September 12, 2008 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  14. BV

    He may be close to hitting the nail on the head. Each and every day I fear more for this country than the day before. Sarah Palin appears to have more of an ego than anything else. She has certainly displayed her lack of knowledge in many crucial areas. I guess her followers aren't concerned about the real important issues, though. I'm not sure what the Republicans are concerned with. It certainly isn't the economy or understanding the bail out of Fannie or Freddie. The bigger issue of Foreign Policy must not be important either as she hasn't displayed any knowledge of any of these issues and they still think that she is the one to step in as President should something happen to McCain.
    Sure does prove to me that McCain isn't about what he says he is. If he was he would have picked someone with the background needed to be a real VP and a possible President. I was under the impression that is what the election of a President was about. Has she even spoken with any world leaders?
    Yes, she is a cocky wacko with a big ego. A cocky wacko who is willing to put the whole country at risk and apparently doesn't have any conscious concern about it.

    September 12, 2008 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  15. tomcat

    I think "kookie whacko" is a little bit more appropriate. Thanks Karl Rove for integrating the stupidity of American Idol and Survivor into american politics.

    September 12, 2008 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  16. Anonymous

    No! (sarcasm)

    September 12, 2008 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  17. True Conservative

    Palin came across as unaware, adolescent, and unprepared. While I want to vote for McCain I am having second thoughts. Palin seems like some average lady off the street. I want my VP to be prepared, smarter than I am, and ready on day one. Palin proved yesterday that she is not. It was clear that her answers were scripted and even then she could not deliver.

    I am very disappointed. I hope those who are thinking about voting for her think very hard before they do. Try and imagine her taking the Oath of ffice for the presidency of the United States. It could happen and is she the one you want taking that Oath? Can you see her doing it? Do you want America lead by her?

    September 12, 2008 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  18. Jackie

    Right on!!!. I personally don't think she is wacko but she is very ambitious and will get rid of anyone in her way. She reminds me of the evil boss at work who says that it is my way or the highway. The American people should have grave concerns of her views. She actually agreed she would go to war with RUSSIA in her interview with Charlie Gibson. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!

    September 12, 2008 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  19. John, Virginia

    Did Sen Chafee have extensive dealings with Gov Palin? Why would anyone care what a washed up politician with an undistinguished career has to say about anything?

    September 12, 2008 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  20. Sharon - NC

    Mr. Chafee is correct. Sarah Palin is a cocky wacko. In Charlie Gibson's interview, she gravitated between winking and trying to flirt with him and giving him the evil eye when he pressed her for intelligent, clear answers. One can only imagine how badly she would behave and perform with world leaders and those of substance and intelligence.

    September 12, 2008 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  21. Mike Gilmer

    All Republicans are cocky wackos, so what's new?

    September 12, 2008 07:14 am at 7:14 am |
  22. Jim Shively

    The key word in this little essay is "Former" Senator.
    Enough said.

    September 12, 2008 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  23. Tom in Delaware

    It's like I'm having Deja' vu....didn't I just read this story yesterday?!?

    September 12, 2008 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  24. Willy Brown

    Lincoln Chafee is a RINO who's just jealous.

    September 12, 2008 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  25. Chris Andoe

    Partisanship aside it is critical we have the most competent people running our country, and the selection of Palin was reckless.

    September 12, 2008 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
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